Museums, music and more: Lots of great virtual things to do in April

© Van Gogh Museum Amsterdam/© Vincent Van Gogh Foundation
© Van Gogh Museum Amsterdam/© Vincent Van Gogh Foundation

Now that you can’t go to museums, theatres and cinemas, a good many are coming to you. No queuing, no annoying people blocking your view and all from the comfort of your couch. And you can munch on crisps (in your pajamas) without so much as a shush!!

Have a museum to yourself
A lot of Dutch museums have met the virtual content challenge head on. Here are a few examples.

The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam invites you to a virtual tour through an eerily empty museum with uninterrupted views of its many masterpieces. And you can get close to Vermeer’s Little Street without setting off any alarms.

The Van Gogh museum not only lets you explore its collection, it’s interactive too. Download a picture of one van Gogh’s sunflowers, for example, and get your children colouring. Handy tip: tell them they can be any colour or it’ll be a fight to the death for the yellow crayon. But don’t worry, there are more colouring pictures to be had, for young and old, at the Teylers Museum, the museums in Zutphen, and the lovely natural history museum Wonderryck.

One of the Teyler’s Museum drawings

The Groninger Museum wants you to get creative yourself and is putting up a weekly art making challenge, from designing your own Liberation mug to creating still lives from the bits and pieces in your cupboard.

The Mauritshuis invites its visitors to ‘look with their ears’ as singer-songwriters serenade their favourite painting in the collection.

These and many more great activities are listed at the Museum jaarkaart Museum at Home website. Naturally, and slightly weirdly in the circumstances, the world is your oyster. Check out what some of the other world renowned museums are doing here.

Check out classical music
Classical music lovers should keep an eye on the following venues in the coming weeks. All will be broadcasting a special concert from their archives via Facebook so check out your favourites via these links:

The New European Ensemble (pictured above) is live streaming concerts as well. You can listen to them here.

Watch this
International documentary festival Amsterdam (IDFA) has put over 300 of its international documentaries online to watch for free. Go and dive in, there is something for everyone.

Amsterdam’s Eye may be closed but go here and you can still enjoy part of what the museum has to offer, for instance its historic Bits & Pieces and news reels.

Take a walk
Want to spot an actual tit without bumping into one of the human kind who can’t keep his distance? Then try a Natuurmonumenten walk. The routes take you through 19 of the Netherlands’ most beautiful natural areas. Natuurmonumenten has not closed off any routes to walkers as yet but warns people to respect the 1.5 metre distance.

You can do a virtual walk on Schiermonnikoog

You can also have a gander at the activities of the spoonbills who will soon be in a tizzy about their next brood at the Nieuwkoopse Plassen via the webcam. More birds getting ready to raise family can be seen on Beleef de Lente, with live updates of the goings on in and around the nests.

Let someone else read the bedtime story
De Voorleeshoek is giving away free subscriptions to their storytelling service to desperate parents trying to entertain their kids at home. It’s for children up to 10.

Go to the next stage
Watch this space for theatre performances that are being played without an audience and streamed for your delight, courtesy of the Theaterkrant.

Cry freedom
The Balie debating centre in Amsterdam has put freedom centre stage ‘now that our own is limited’. It is screening various programmes connected with the Month of Freedom which had been organised to commemorate 75 years of freedom since WW II. It also has films, documentaries and podcasts on offer.

See the bulbs grow

The Keukenhof has announced its not opening but you don’t have to deprived of its spring spendours. The park will be highlighting the most beatiful spots in the coming weeks in a series of videos.

And if you want to enjoy a gourmet meal or help a local entrepreneur while you are taking in some culture, here are our tips for helping restaurants and bars and local companies get through.

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